welcome to al jazeera america. i'm stephanie sy. here are the stories we're following for you. unemployment benefits at a critical point. more than a million people will lose their aid three days after christmas if congress doesn't act. some fast-food workers are striking across the country. two major sites were hit by a mass hack attack. ♪
we begin with encouraging jobs news out today. weekly unemployment claims fell below 3300,000. but still 11 million americans remain out of work. let's find out what lawmakers are doing about benefits. libby good morning, what is on the table? >> well, democrats are pushing for an extension of these long-term unemployment ben fitteds. these were created during the recession to help americans who were out of a job more than six months. so now the federal government allows them for about 18 months. that expires on december 28th just a couple of days before christmas. some democrats held a hearing to hear from americans who benefited from these benefits. one is lisa floyd. she shared her personal story.
she worked for a hospice organization. she couldn't find a job and was unemployed, and she said unemployment insurance got her through. >> i have spent the majority of my waking hours looking for work. during this time, i was able to support myself because i received those vital unemployment insurance benefits. >> and miss floyd told the democrats that she has just gotten a job, so good news for her. democrats are using her and other americans to try to put a personal face on this issue. >> what is the republicans response? >> house speaker john boehner just addressed reporters, and he said the way to get americans back to work is to fix the economy. and we talked about obamacare.
he said that he is willing to look at a plan to extend unemployment benefits if the president presents one -- if president obama shows him one, but he said the president has the focus. >> the president is more focused on inkoreaing reliance on programs than creating better jobs. republicans continue to focus on strengthening the economy for middle class citizens. >> a fundamental difference there. republicans saying there are other ways to help americans, democrats pushing for the extension while trying to work on broader economic issues. >> libby casey thank you. tomorrow the labor
department releases the jobs numbers for november. some fast-food workers are on the picket line instead of working today. strikes are taking place in in about a hundred cities. the dedemand, higher pay. tonya mosley shares the story of a 35-year-old mother of three raising her family on $9.31 an hour. >> it's 2:00 and mya molina's five-hour shift at kfc is over. she is off to pick up her youngest son from day care before heading home. and with no time to take off her uniform, she headed to the kitchen to make a snack. >> they look to me. they don't have no one else to look to. >> for the last five years the
35-year-old single number of three has been making $9.31ing cents an hour. >> i'm the definition of the working poor as they say. >> her job helps but doesn't cover the cost of supporting a family of four. i receive food stamp benefits. i receive subsidized day care, subsidized housing, and my son is on wic. >> women infrant -- infants and children is a prom that help low-income families. >> right now i'm just focusing on taking care of them, making them happy and make sure they get the education so that they don't have to work a fast-food restaurant at 9.31. for the past three weeks i have been working nights and
weekends, because christmas time is coming up. >> one day she plans on returning to college and ultimately changing careers. she says a bump in pay would help make that happen. tonya mosley, al jazeera, washington. last month a seattle suburb increased their minimum wage to $15 an hour. alan joining us live. good afternoon, what are we expecting there today? >> well, we're not going to see a strike in this area, stephanie, but workers will stage a march. they are hoping to march 14th miles from the city south of seattle into downtown seattle to hold a rally at city hall a little bit later today. symbolic march. this is the area where organized labor pushed an initiative that
won at the a ballot work but is being recounted today. 14 miles, are you going to make that? >> i'm going to try. >> you are working at mcdonald's? >> yes. >> how long have you been working there? >> three months. >> how much do you make? >> $9.25. >> and how much would $15 an hour help you? >> it would be great. it would pay bills off and pay for school. enough to put me through school. $15 would do a lot for me. >> thank very much i really appreciate it. it's a pleasure meeting you. >> you too. >> it is very cold out here too. do you think that keep people
from coming out? >> no, it's a great march and a great movement, and i think people will show up. >> all right. they say they are expecting about a hundred people to get involved with this march. stephanie. >> thanks, alan. millions of people are being urged to check their pass words after several media and social media websites were hacked. the company says malicious viruses have been sent to countless computers. joining me to talk about this is adam levin. how do you know if you have been hacked? >> oftentimes you don't. the only way you may find out is a friend will communicate with you and say did you just send me an email promoting a particular
product or you'll get notification from a website that your pass word is being changed because it was part of a group of pass words has been hacked. >> so are these sites doing enough to protect the users? >> the problem isn't necessarily the sites themselves. the particular instance that people are talking about now, the 2 million pass words. these were gathered by folks who were using computers that are banded together through virus, they through spam, through fishing email, they get on to your commuter, and then the malware gets on to your computer, and it follows you. >> what should we do about it? >> have the most sophisticated security software you can get. and have it running and scanning all the time, and notifying you
if there is any particular problem. the second thing they also found is people use incredibly silly pass words. >> so have tough pass words that are hard to guess and hard to decipher all right, adam levin we'll have to leaf it there. thank you. >> thank you. the hits keep coming for the nsa according to the "washington post" the agency tracks 5 million cell phones a day. the information came from documents by normer nsa contractor, edward snowden. secretary of state john kerry has returned to the middle east, meeting with israeli and palestinian leaders to discuss ongoing peace talks and working on deals to curve iran's nuclear program. nick schifrin joins us with
more. hello, nick? >> yeah, hey, stephanie. right now the u.s./israeli relationship is severely strained. today in jerusalem, a chummy secretary of state gave an unambiguous message. >> the bond between the u.s. and israel is unbreakable, and we might have a difference of a tack nick call measure, but we do not have a difference about the fundamental strategies that we both seek. >> reporter: he is used the word israeli security ten times in seven minutes. he was trying to reassure israel after the disagreement over iran's nuclear deal. kerry emphasized that the u.s.
and israel share a long-term goal, dismantle iran's nuclear capacity. >> we will consult continuously with our israeli friends to bring about an agreement that with withstand's everybody's test. >> reporter: and now kerry wants to switch the topic. proposing a new plan that pushes israeli border security. but analysts say because the u.s. ignored israel over iran, kerry has lost ground. >> i find it hard to believe that netenyahu is going to budge one centimeter. >> reporter: kerry will try by promising security to israel.
if netenyahu doesn't budge, the palestinians will have a difficulty budging themselves, and that means that kerry's task is herculean. >> how are the palestinians offering and what is kerry going to offer them? >> the palestinians are not reacting well. let's put it this way. i think most people here believe that the more kerry agrees with israel or views this subject from the israeli point of view, and thinking about israeli security, the more conflict he'll have the palestinians. palestinians say youing can't have israeli soldiers if we're going to have a viable state. and this afternoon, the palestinian official has said he has rejected kerries proposals
because they would lead to prolonging and maintaining the occupation. so clearly kerry needed to talk to israeli and reassure israel, but that had backfired when it comes to talking to palestinians. >> thank you, nick. the un security council has approved a peace keeping force for the central african republic. there are conflicting reports on the number dead. reuters is reporting at least 105 were killed. the fighting was between mostly muslim fighters and christians who support the former president who was ousted in march. james bays joining us to talk about this peace-keeping force. james good day to you. what is this force's mission? >> the force's mission is to
restore peace in the area. this was a compromise resolution, 3,500 african peace keepers. ban ki-moon, he said if he was going to have to provide the troops a un force in a situation where there was a lot of violence, he would need 9,000 that is double what has been authorized by this resolution. >> reporter: have you got enough troops for the job? >> we are in this resolution walking and chewing gum at the same time. we are both strengthening the mandate and then working through our funding and our bilateral relationships and strengthen the preparedness of those troops on the ground. the number of africans on the ground is increasing, but they are not up to full speed.
we need to address that immediately. >> she then added that they are asking ban ki-moon to continue planning for a un peace-keeping operation that could be deployed sometime in the future. >> james bays thank you. at least 25 people are dead and doesers more injured at a series of attacks in yemen. the explosion damaged a hospital inside the complex. there has been no claim of responsibility yet. yemen is home to one of al-qaeda's groups. three leaders are protesting against [ inaudible ] one of those [ inaudible ] who came to power after the revolution started in 2004. the statement gave a nod to hundreds of thousands of
protesting ukrainians and condemned the use of what they call excessive force against the demonstrators. several thousand are still occupying a central square in kiev and blocking entry to several government buildings, this is all happening as foreign diplomats are arriving for a meeting in europe. and a dramatic change in thailand from protests to celebration. protesters who want the prime minister to resign stopped their demonstration out of respect for the king's birthday. the king gave a speech, urging people to support each other for the sake of the country. up next an anonymous donor dropped a very generous gift into a salvation army bucket in oklahoma. that and much more when al
welcome back to al jazeera america. i'm stephanie sy. that familiar bell, well an anonymous donor dropped a generous gift in oklahoma, a gold canadian coin. it is worth nearly $1,300. >> there is a mother with children that will have a warm place to stay, a nice meal to eat, they will not be out in the cold, and they will be someplace safe. >> they provide food, toys and clothing to over 6 million people during the holidays, and help nearly 34 million americans recover from disasters. ♪ here is a look at some of
our top business headlines now. another down day on wall street. the dow trading slightly down about 20 points. blue chips are on track for a fifth day of losses. improving economic data is raising fears that the fed will scale back on its stimulus >> the average amount owed in student loans last year was more than $29,000. that is up 10% from 2011. 7 out of 10 college seniors graduate with some form of debt. remember when tablet computers were the hot item? smartphones are now taking over. the growth of tablets will fall to single digits by 2016. smartphones are eating into tablet sales. ford taking the wraps off of its new mustang.
it was unveiled today around the globe as it celebrates its 50th birthday. ford won't reveal the price tag, but the current version starts at $23,000. mexican authorities have placed a family under medical supervision after they came in close proximity to the radioactive material that was stolen monday. thieves stole the truck. the truck was recovered yesterday. residents in a rural area have been told to stay calm. the cobalt 60 is used for cancer treatment. it could take days to remove the material. the arizona fire department has received a $550,000 fine. it is accused of not having
proper plans in place and failing to provide key personnel. that includes $25,000 for each firefighter killed. dementia cases worldwide could triple by 2050. the projected increase to about 135 million in that span. alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia. international leaders from the world's eight biggest economies will meet in london next week for a special summit on sdi men sha. well, they have come a long way since don't ask don't tell, but coming out as created a host of new problems for gays in the military.
idaho. william graten is slated to be new york city's next police commissioner. he held the same position under major rudy julie onny. about 1 million of the veteran's 21 million soldiers are gay. militia chan reports. >> reporter: getting together to discuss a difficult issue. just two years after ending its policy of banning gays and lesbians from serving openly, the military's overtures are described as a complicated abface by some veterans who have
had to spend their careers in the closet. >> the overturn of don't ask don't tell is still very new, so i think the services are still learning, and although it is going very well so far, i do expect some bumps in in the road naturally. it's a big change. >> i created this flyer -- >> reporter: john serves on the san francisco veteran's affairs program. he was honorable discharged from the navy in the '80s. >> i can truly understand why the term don't ask don't tell came into being, because that's how many of us had to live our lives. >> reporter: the military has come far in the past few years, some hospitals like this one in san francisco have launched outreach pilot programs to have specially trained psychologists
to handle posttraumatic stress patients. this doctor and his colleagues visit job fairs, commune if i centers and pride events. >> veterans have been excited, impressed and surprised that we offer this program. >> reporter: the va also man tajs a hot line specifically for gay and lesbian veterans. >> this is the first generation where we have had large numbers of openly lgbt people, so the va may be responding to that differently than they did in the past when people were closeted as i was at that time. >> reporter: taylor's services would go far. there is a feeling that many current veteran to peer counseling programs only address heterosexuals. >> there's a lot of that flag
waving, hypermasculine. not much has changed. >> reporter: some vets feels it could be years before social and cultural at ought tos in the mi military catch up. ♪ i'm meteorologist dave warren big problem with the temperature con -- changes. ice is accumulating and it will be a continued problem not only today but overnight tonight. another night of freezing rain. that will accumulate about a half inch of ice. >> all right. dave thank you.
and thank you for watching al jazeera america. i'm steph. "the stream" is next. ♪ you're in the treatment. fran pope francis is getting wave reviewed but is he a game changer? we break down the pop fourteen francis -- pope francis effect. >> our digital producer wajahat ali is here. keep it coming. waj, catholic or not pope francis is all the buzz now.